23 April 2007

Too Stupid To Know When Someone Is Trying To Kill You--Reprise

I could not let the month of April go by without returning to the April 2006 message from award-winning SF/Horror writer Dan Simmons.

Analogous to the neurologic phenomenon of "face blindness" or "emotion blindness," is the broader social pathology of civilisation danger blindness. While the sufferer of emotion blindness is unable to read the emotions of others around her--so she cannot anticipate when someone is likely to cause her harm--the sufferer of civilisation danger blindness is unable to recognise people and groups of people who represent a mortal danger to their freedoms and civilisation.

With that fashionable sociopathology in mind, I offer once again Dan Simmons' April 2006 message.

Science fiction authors have the ability to place themselves out of the context of current reality, into possible realities that could occur. "Constraint propagation" is a concept useful in certain types of computer programming. It is also useful in predicting future events.

Some science fiction authors are better than others at this. In my humble opinion, Dan Simmons and Orson Scott Card are two of the best at projecting the future based upon current events. They have suffered untold flak from their fans and others, but have taken the honourable course of risking a loss of readership to tell what they believe to be the true danger we face.

Contrast that courage with the cowardice of hip hop artists who state that even if they knowingly lived next door to a mass murderer, they would never inform authorities of a killer's whereabouts--not even to save lives. The explanation they give, is that it would be bad for business!

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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